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Old 04-21-2018, 11:44 AM
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Berry's harness training thread

Hi everyone, so I finally got my hands on the petite size aviator harness this afternoon, and things are already going well!

I have done an immense amount of research on harnesses and different techniques that people have used to harness train their parrots, so in this process I will be using all that I’ve learnt to discover what works for Berry.

So, the aim of this thread will be to 1) keep a record of Berry’s training progression (through videos and pictures!), 2) discuss the methods that I am using, and 3) get ideas from other members on harness training.

I know the basic way that the DVD instructs to put the harness on, but after reading about how many people with the petite and extra small harness struggled to start training with their parrots because the head hole is very small, I wanted to initially focus on that aspect.

I began by creating a fairly big hole using the “wing” section of the harness, like this:


I then asked her to come forward, and she put her head through this big hole with no problem, and I said “good bird” and gave her a sunflower seed. Since this was so successful, I decided to make the hole a little smaller, and again, very successful. We did this a few times, keeping the hole fairly small, but not as small as the head hole.

Even though it was day one, I was amazed at her willingness to have the harness around her neck, and due to this positive experience I decided to see if she would possibly stick her little beak through the head hole... and guess what, she pushed her WHOLE HEAD through! I was so pleased with her, and of course rewarded with the sunflower seed (and plenty of scritches!)

I am not forcing her to keep it around her neck of course, and I am currently just letting her put her head in and then pull it out.

Right now, the aim is to get her to be COMPLETELY comfortable with putting her head through the hole, and considering how well she has taken to the harness so far, I have high hopes for the future!

Here is a brief video of her putting her head through the hole:


Stay tuned for updates and pictures!
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Last edited by reeb; 04-21-2018 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 04-21-2018, 11:52 AM
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Re: Berry's harness training thread

Oh well done! I have put Syd's away and am just planning to get it out again in the hope that he has forgotten that he got his head stuck last summer. I had to make the head hole quite a bit bigger but then the weather turned cold so I decided to wait. I shall be really interested to see your progress.
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Old 04-21-2018, 10:20 PM
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Re: Berry's harness training thread

congrats.. consistency is key IMO.. I can only add that while I had Rudy acclimated to a harness with no problems until after I spent a couple months in hospital .. I have a new method now which i wont suggest unless you are deep into finding other methods.

Best of everything! Its a lot of fun to take your bird outside and do things.. Remember everything consistent and in moderation.
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Old 04-22-2018, 01:27 PM
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Re: Berry's harness training thread

So today was a little setback. I had the harness on the couch next to me so that Berry could get used to its presence and see it as not being scary. She went and stuck her head through the head hole (independently) and completely freaked out, she was very upset. I had to gently restrain her and pull the harness loop off because she kept trying to shake it off and she was so stressed. I got very anxious and upset myself. Ugh, I wish this didn't happen. Things were going so well.

Any ideas on how to remedy this? I am thinking of leaving the harness training for a little bit (we are waiting for a training perch to arrive). Is this a good idea, or should i still keep it around her for consistency?
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Old 04-22-2018, 02:51 PM
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Re: Berry's harness training thread

It might not hurt to leave it in sight, again no threat but also not necessarily there to put the head in again until you supervise. Syd got his head stuck too and freaked out too it's heart breaking.
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Old 04-22-2018, 03:21 PM
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Re: Berry's harness training thread

Quote: Originally Posted by reeb View Post
So today was a little setback. I had the harness on the couch next to me so that Berry could get used to its presence and see it as not being scary. She went and stuck her head through the head hole (independently) and completely freaked out, she was very upset. I had to gently restrain her and pull the harness loop off because she kept trying to shake it off and she was so stressed. I got very anxious and upset myself. Ugh, I wish this didn't happen. Things were going so well.

Any ideas on how to remedy this? I am thinking of leaving the harness training for a little bit (we are waiting for a training perch to arrive). Is this a good idea, or should i still keep it around her for consistency?
Ouch. That's potentially tough as a setback. But sometimes situations like this are actually more traumatic on the parront than the bird. (Not always. Just sometimes) So make sure not to project your feelings onto Berry.

I'd say to give it maybe 2 days rest and then try again. Consistency is important... even in the face of a setback.
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Old 04-22-2018, 11:59 PM
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Re: Berry's harness training thread

Quote: Originally Posted by reeb View Post

Any ideas on how to remedy this? I am thinking of leaving the harness training for a little bit
For me it is difficult for me to write the words on how I put the harness on Rudy who is a very well acclimated, yet young macaw..

Essentially...

I set him on a chairback
One hand stays on a foot
Other hand goes to the hoodie.
I then place that small t-shirt scrap over his head (hoodie)
same hand, Slide the Yoke over his head
Lift one wing up (he sorta does that himself)
Then the other wing ( he knows, other wing..)
slip the hoodie off
Cinch up the belt
Have him step up..
Out the door we go!!


I have a new phone coming that does videos.. I don't know anything other than the process I use. IMO I would think this same process/technique should be able to taught and learned by any Parront.. That's where my expertise ends. Stayed tuned. I can put the harness on Rudy in at about 30 seconds, fully cinched. here again, I believe the process should work for everyone. It will be really interesting to hear why this process wont or doesn't work for others..

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Old 04-23-2018, 12:43 AM
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Re: Berry's harness training thread

She calmed down really quickly after I pulled the harness off (her head is fairly small so it wasn’t really difficult to get off so she wasn’t really stuck), I was mostly very freaked out myself. I have panic disorder so any small trigger like this can cause me to get so anxious. She got lots of scritches and love afterwards and she was totally fine.

I think my next move will be to have the harness around my wrist during play time so that she sees that it is harmless for me and can be harmless for her too. Thoughts on this?


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Old 04-23-2018, 01:04 AM
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Re: Berry's harness training thread

Quote: Originally Posted by reeb View Post

Thoughts on this?
,


I can see both sides of the coin. Here again. i have no idea of how a Budgie acts or interacts typically. My macaw is huge, how ever a parrot is a parrot. and yet... the personality differences can be totally different depending how each has "acclimated" to their environment coupled with species differences.

I understand the visualization process. Frankly, When started harnessing Rudy, the harness was kept on the chair seat. The little 6x6 piece of shirt material hid the harness. Once the "hood" is dropped over his head, he cant see a thing..

Now as I have done this hundreds of times. I dont hide the harness very well if at all. I have recently contemplated more times, not hooding him. Ive tried a couple of times. Sometimes he grabs the yoke, sometimes I win and get it over his head. My aim has to be perfect or he wins!

Here again, I have no idea of whether you can make what we do work for you.. If a parrot will step up onto my hand, I would have zero qualms with doing this with any parrot and find out whether it works or it doesn't.

I have watched wrench13 video several times. It appears to me, he is far more patient than I am, simply by how well Salty is uh... acclimated to his method, (which is typical) IMO..

I have been asked for video from the manufacturer which I am happy to provide including first and foremost this forum. I have even gone and upgraded a phone that works perfectly well just for the purpose of creating a video of what we do..

I think it is amazingly simple to do. What I dont know is how this work out for others. It most certainly can be a learning lesson for everyone! stay tuned. It will probably be towards the end of the week, before i take the phone through the entire setting up process..

kinda funny that i drop my phone accidentally into a 32oz cup of soda earlier tonight. talk about fate!
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Old 04-23-2018, 01:54 AM
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Berry (♀ Cockatiel) hatched June 2017 Opal (♂ Budgie) hatched 13 August 2017 Pearl (♀ Budgie) hatched 15 August 2017 + an aviary of 16 other budgies! all hatched 2014-2017
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Re: Berry's harness training thread

Quote: Originally Posted by DiscoDuck View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by reeb View Post

Thoughts on this?
,


I can see both sides of the coin. Here again. i have no idea of how a Budgie acts or interacts typically. My macaw is huge, how ever a parrot is a parrot. and yet... the personality differences can be totally different depending how each has "acclimated" to their environment coupled with species differences.

I understand the visualization process. Frankly, When started harnessing Rudy, the harness was kept on the chair seat. The little 6x6 piece of shirt material hid the harness. Once the "hood" is dropped over his head, he cant see a thing..

Now as I have done this hundreds of times. I dont hide the harness very well if at all. I have recently contemplated more times, not hooding him. Ive tried a couple of times. Sometimes he grabs the yoke, sometimes I win and get it over his head. My aim has to be perfect or he wins!

Here again, I have no idea of whether you can make what we do work for you.. If a parrot will step up onto my hand, I would have zero qualms with doing this with any parrot and find out whether it works or it doesn't.

I have watched wrench13 video several times. It appears to me, he is far more patient than I am, simply by how well Salty is uh... acclimated to his method, (which is typical) IMO..

I have been asked for video from the manufacturer which I am happy to provide including first and foremost this forum. I have even gone and upgraded a phone that works perfectly well just for the purpose of creating a video of what we do..

I think it is amazingly simple to do. What I dont know is how this work out for others. It most certainly can be a learning lesson for everyone! stay tuned. It will probably be towards the end of the week, before i take the phone through the entire setting up process..

kinda funny that i drop my phone accidentally into a 32oz cup of soda earlier tonight. talk about fate!
She's a cockatiel, my budgies would be impossible to harness train haha! I'll keep the harness around, but I'll only start training again once our training perch arrives. I'll try lots of different methods, but my ultimate goal is that she will feel really comfortable having it around her neck.
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